Western New Jersey

Phillipsburg council members won't give themselves raises

PHILLIPSBURG, Pa. - Members of the Phillipsburg (N.J.) Town Council have backed away from an ordinance that would have given them $1,000 a year raises.

Council on Tuesday rejected the proposal that would have raised the standard council member salary from $3,000 to $4,000, and the council president's salary from $3,500 to $4,500.

Although the town is in the midst of a number of positive changes, Councilman Randy Piazza, said it would be "unwarranted and premature" to approve the raises before those changes are completed.

Council members left one section of the ordinance untouched, establishing a $70,000 yearly salary for tax collector Sandra Callery, who was sworn in Tuesday.

In other business, council ordered that debris be cleaned up at a vacant property at 475 Main St.

Town officials said the building has been an eyesore for years, and council had hoped to hold a habitability hearing Tuesday.

That hearing was put on hold when the lien holder for the property didn't attend the meeting, but members of council made it clear the building is a problem.

"It's filled to the gills with junk," said Council President Todd Tersigni. "It's leaking, it's musty and it's unsanitary," he said.

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